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What Is DCWatch?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF
April 2, 2008
MAYOR FENTY AND DC TOURISM OFFICIALS LAUNCH A NEW WAY TO SEE DC
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty joined officials from Destination DC, the official
convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC, to launch a new
brand strategy designed to promote the city and bolster its largest
private sector industry, travel and tourism. Unveiled today at the
Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre, the strategy is launching
with a $2 million integrated marketing campaign, which includes
television, online, print and outdoor advertising and guerilla marketing.
The brand builds on the city's powerful, inspiring assets to invite
travelers to create their own power trips in DC.
Based on City's First Comprehensive Brand Strategy, Campaign Invites
Travelers to "Create Your Own Power Trip” in DC
"'Create your own power trip is our new call to action.' It
literally and figuratively takes the power of the city and puts it into
the hands of the traveler," said Fenty. "DC may be seen as a
government town, but tourism is our industry. The city has invested
billions of dollars in new museums, restaurants, neighborhood development
and a baseball stadium in the past few years. By working strategically to
promote our city, we can introduce travelers to the energy that's created
here and generate more economic development for DC." Fifteen million
visitors spend more than $5.2 billion in the District each year,
generating more than $560 billion in tax dollars.
The campaign is grounded in DC's first comprehensive brand strategy,
developed over more than a year of quantitative and qualitative research,
creative development and consumer testing. The independent research
revealed that DC registered a considerable advantage over its competition
in several key attributes that motivate travel: power, inspiration,
beauty, learning and discovery and experiencing history. The ad concepts,
created in collaboration with the DC office of Burson-Marsteller, are
designed to evoke these distinctive qualities in order to appeal
emotionally to the city's target audiences: family travelers, urban
explorers and knowledge seekers.
“It's critical for us to be laser-focused in our marketing efforts.
We need to create messages that stand out against our competition and
connect with our audience,” said Dan Mesches, chairman of Destination DC
and president of Star Restaurant Group. “While DC ranks among the most
popular destinations in the United States, the competition for tourism,
convention and investment dollars is relentless. Other destinations such
as New York, Orlando, Atlanta and Las Vegas are currently outspending DC
and have recently increased their efforts significantly to head off
potential downturns in travel due to the economy.”
DC's new multi-platform campaign includes two 30-second television
commercials designed to appeal to two target segments: families and urban
explorers. Starring local talent and produced in-studio using green screen
techniques and animation, the commercials describe possible power trips
for each market segment. In the urban explorer commercial, a young
couple's power trip takes shape under the city's famous cherry blossoms,
shopping at Eastern Market and in U Street's nightlife hotspots. For
family travelers, a power trip means plugging in to the energy on the
National Mall, in interactive attractions, in restaurants and on stage at
theatres throughout the city. The commercials will run in the Washington
region through a promotional partnership with NBC-4 beginning this month
and on cable in other key markets for summer and weekend travel including
New York, Pittsburgh and Raleigh in May. Through the promotional support
of Western Development Corporation and The Akridge Company, the
commercials will also be played on the outdoor screens at DC's Gallery
Place retail and entertainment hub at 7th and H Streets, NW.
Print ads illustrating four concepts, “Seat of Power,” “Soul
Power,” “Power Play” and “Fire Power,” will run in major
publications throughout the summer including Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet,
Black Enterprise, Saveur, The New Yorker, The New York Times, National
Geographic Traveler and Smithsonian, another key media partner for the
campaign. To build resident engagement, the ads will also appear in local
outlets, including The Washington Post, Washington Afro-American,
Washington Blade, Washington Hispanic and other community newspapers.
“The creative takes the concept of power and injects it with fun and
energy to introduce visitors to powerful experiences throughout the
city,” said William A. Hanbury, president & CEO, Destination DC.
“We're inviting visitors to plug in to real DC insider experiences to
make their trips to DC surprising and authentic by passing along the
insider tips that residents actually shared with us during this
To support the new brand strategy and campaign, which includes search
engine marketing and partnerships with Travelocity, TripAdvisor, Gothamist
and DCist, Destination DC also debuted a new look for its website,
Washington.org. Developed by two local firms, DC-based Datanet and McLean,
Va.-based Pappas Group, the experience-driven site introduces consumers,
meeting planners, travel professionals and members of the media to
powerful moments and surprising discoveries they can only find in DC. The
site also provides a forum for locals to share their own DC insider tips
and insights, plus an itinerary planning feature to make it easier for
travelers to organize their visits. Washington.org currently attracts more
than 600,000 unique visits per month.
The new brand platform also includes a new 2 ½ minute destination
video, underwritten by Guest Services, Inc., a long-time supporter of
Destination DC's marketing efforts, featuring music by Eric Hilton and Rob
Garza of Thievery Corporation, an internationally-known duo with its roots
in DC's nightlife scene.
For more information about the campaign and to view the television,
print and online elements, log on to Washington.org/pressroom.
About Destination DC: Destination DC, the lead
destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private,
non-profit membership organization of more than 1,000 businesses committed
to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special
events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and
historic communities. Destinationdc.com.